Elizabeth's Reviews > The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming

The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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May 02, 2009

really liked it
Read in May, 2009

In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming (Book II in the Brotherhood of the Conch trilogy), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni sends Anand, the Keeper of the Conch, most powerful and sacred object of the Brotherhood, off on a journey back in time to banish evil and save mankind.
The story opens in Silver Valley, the Hogwarts Academy of the Himalayas , where Anand and Nisha (counterparts to Harry and Hermione) have begun their training in the magical arts of the Brotherhood. Like Harry Potter, Anand is unsettled in his destiny. While Nisha immediately excels in all of her mystical studies, Anand finds himself unable to call from within himself the wizardly talents that other apprentices of the Brotherhood display; and yet in his class to gather news from the winds, he visualizes a black wind that whispers to him, "Evil stirs." The next day his mentor Abhaydatta is conducting a class in the Hall of Seeing when Anand is "summoned" by an old woman chanting and rocking in a fire-lit hut. She pleads with Anand, "Help us! You must help us before it is too late ---," and then she disappears in a blast of heat and light.
The Brotherhood must respond to this plea for help and decides to send Abhaydatta and an apprentice to find the unknown woman and fight the evil power. While Anand wants to go with him, the council orders him to stay in Silver Valley and continue his studies.
Weeks pass and no one hears from Abhaydatta; Anand and several other apprentices take a day hike into the northern valley in search of a beautiful river. Anand wanders away from his companions and passes through a waterfall into a different world where he sees Abhayetta and the apprentice in danger. That very night he and Nisha creep into the Crystal Hall and, with the aid of the Conch, travel backward in time to save Abhaydatta.
To find out what happens in this time-travel adventure, you'll have to read The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming. It's a great tale of wizardry replete with the culture of India.


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